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The Daffodil Labyrinth at TCAC.

Vernon Events In May

May seems to be the busiest month of the year in Vernon with everyone eager to get outside, and our organizations accommodating with walks and other events. Listed below are 12 activities ranging from programs on wild animals to fund raisers, walks, a brew fest and a parade.

Many of the organizations sponsoring these events are members of the Vernon Volunteers' Collaborative. You can learn more about VVC on their website.

If you would like advanced notice by email of this type of event please join our MeetUp Group. We send reminders of these events on our Facebook Page. You will also find upcoming events listed on the VVC website under the 'Events' tab. Many of the links below take you to MeetUp pages.

And don't miss this month two of the most overlooked gardens in Vernon - The Daffodil Labyrinth at the Tolland County Agriculture Center and the Wings Butterfly Garden on Lake Street. Both are particularly lovely in May. See website for more photos and background.

Click on each image for a larger view.

Jon Roe   


VGV Kickoff: The Bear Reality

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 7 P.M.: It's a new season as the Vernon Greenways Volunteers (VGV) hold their annual Spring Kickoff Meeting. In addition to reviewing what was done in 2018 and what is coming in 2019, there will be a program on bears.

The guest speaker is FELICIA ORTNER, a Connecticut Master Wildlife Conservationist, who will provide education and facts about bears and help dispel myths and common misunderstandings.

Felicia believes outreach and education is key in having a better understanding about the life and behavior of bears. Hopefully this will lead to a higher tolerance, which is instrumental in creating a strategy of coexistence between humans and bears.

The free event will be held at the Lodge on Camp Newhoca, 186 Grier Road on Bolton Lake. The public is welcome, so come and join us. Refreshments will be served. Questions: DON BELLINGHAM: (860) 872-6061 or [email protected]

» Learn more about the Vernon Greenways Volunteers.


Canoe/Kayak Paddle of Upper Bolton Lake

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 9 A.M.: The Northern Connecticut Land Trust sponsors this annual canoe and kayak exploration of Upper Bolton Lake, which in historical times was known for its cedar trees.

Take a leisurely tour of this pristine lake setting, perfect for bird-watching, photo opportunities, or just a quiet morning enjoying the outdoors. Please bring your own boat, paddles, and life vests.

Meet at the Upper Bolton Lake Boat Launch Area on Hatch Hill Road in Vernon for this free event. Call KARL at (860) 649-4949 for information.

» Learn more.


Hockanum Brew Fest

SATURDAY, May 4, 1-4 P.M.: The 2nd annual Hockanum Brew Fest is an outdoor craft beer taste-testing experience filled with activity as more than 30 breweries, wineries, and distilleries will have their wares available for tasting. It will accommodate up to 1,800 people. There will be food trucks, live entertainment, and displays by various businesses and community organizations. Live music by The Polka Brothers.

The ticket price is $40 and includes a glass goblet for sampling. The event is rain or shine - tent coverage is available if precipitation occurs. The New England Motorcycle Museum is open, and brew fest attendees are invited to visit the many historic motorcycles. A bundled ticket is also available.

The Hockanum Brew Fest is organized by the Rockville Community Alliance with a key beneficiary of proceeds being American Legion Rockville Post 14. The event is nestled between the Hockanum River and the Hockanum Mill in historic Rockville at 200 West Main Street.

» For more information and tickets.


VHS Book Sale

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, MAY 4 & 5, 12-4: This weekend is the second and last weekend of the Vernon Historical Society's annual book sale and fundraiser. There are still many bargains remaining.

The annual Book Sale features a wide selection of used hardcover and paperback books, DVDs, and books on CD. All of the hardcover and paperback fiction is alphabetized by the author's last name. 'Special Books' are priced between $2-$5. Non-fiction books are separated by subject categories.

The Vernon Historical Society building, located at 734 Hartford Turnpike (Route 30) in Vernon, is handicapped accessible. Admission is free.

» Learn more.


International Migratory Bird Day Walk

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 8 A.M.: Join JANE SEYMOUR at the Belding Wildlife Management Center for a 2-hour free walk highlighting migratory bird habitat information. Learn to identify birds by sight and sound.

International Migratory Bird Day highlights the importance of international efforts to conserve birds through agreements, laws, treaties, and collaborations.

Meet at the Belding Wildlife Management Area on Bread and Milk Road in Vernon. For information contact Jane at (860) 306-5418 or [email protected]

» Learn more.


Vernon Garden Club's Annual Plant Sale

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 8-11:30 A.M.: The Vernon Garden Club holds their annual Plant Sale and fund raiser. Perennials for sun and shade, bulbs, herbs and unusual plants from members' own gardens will be available along with a gardener's white elephant table.

A great place and good prices to buy seasonal plants from the experts who know what grows well in Vernon. For members its a fun day to see what we’ve grown and share the bounty with our community. Each VGC member brings 10 or more perky, potted, and clearly labeled garden plants.

Proceeds are used to fund the club's scholarship award at Rockville High School, the Junior Gardener's Program and to help maintain the club's two community gardens.

The sale will be held in the parking lot of the Vernon Center Middle School, 777 Hartford Turnpike. In the event of pouring rain the sale will be held on May 18.

» Learn more.


Valley Falls Walks - Birds &/or Wildflowers

SATURDAY, MAY 18: The Friends of Valley Falls are sponsoring two guided walks today in Valley Falls Park. Each walk is a leisurely ramble, two hours or less. Come for either walk or both.

At 7:30 a.m. learn about the birds of Valley Falls led by biologist DENISE ANAMANI, who will introduce you to the 'Birds In The Park.' Denise works in the Department of Allied Health Science at UConn. Observe and identify the bluebirds and other native – and some migrating – species found in their various habitats at the park. Bring your bird apps and binoculars.

At 1 p.m. GINNY GINGRAS and CAROL HATCH lead a walk of Ginny’s favorite 'Wildflower Paths' to identify and enjoy old favorites and some members of the orchid family that are hard to find anywhere else.

Free. Meet for both at the Valley Falls Park gazebo, 350 Valley Falls Road in Vernon. Questions? Call Ginny at (860) -875-9865.

» Learn more.


Rocks, Railroads & History

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 1 p.m.: This is the 3rd of the Friends of Valley Falls weekend series of guided walks in the park.

Join DON SIERAKOWSKI to learn about the Geology and History of Valley Falls Park, including the fascinating story of the Railroad running nearby.

Free. Meet at the Valley Falls Park gazebo, 350 Valley Falls Road in Vernon.

Questions? Call Ginny at (860) -875-9865.

» Learn more.


Poetry Rocks

SUNDAY, MAY 19, 3 p.m.: Arts Center East presents Poetry Rocks! The quarterly series features the award-winning poet, playwright and novelist JOHN SUROWIECKI, and is celebrating the publication of VICTORIA NORDLUND’s first book of poetry. The student poet will be a 'Sunken Garden Fresh Voice' ALEX NORDLUND of Glastonbury High School.

John Surowiecki is the author of five full poetry collections—most recently "Martha Playing Wiffle Ball in Her Wedding Dress and Other Poems" as well as seven chapbooks. Victoria Nordlund teaches creative writing at Rockville High School and is an adjunct professor at UCONN.

Cost: $5. ACE is located at 709 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon.

» Learn more.


Eastern Coyotes in Connecticut

MONDAY, MAY 20, 7 p.m.: The Vernon Garden Club's May program features PAUL COLBURN, certified Master Wildlife Conservationist with DEEP, who will discuss the history of coyotes in Connecticut, an overview of coyote habitat, diet, behavior, and reproduction. He will also provide practical recommendations for optimum coexistence with our coyote population. Coyote artifacts are shared with the audience.

Vernon Garden Club programs are held at the First Congregational Church of Vernon, 695 Hartford Turnpike, Vernon. For details call (860) 926-4332. Guests are always welcome.

» Learn more.


Talcottville Memorial Day Parade

SUNDAY, MAY 27, 9 a.m.: Each Memorial Day the town of Vernon has two parades. The primary parade is held in Rockville on Monday, but on Sunday one of the state's shortest parades takes place in Talcottville.

Marchers begin at the Talcottville Congregational Church and proceed to the Civil War monument in the cemetery where ceremonies are held. The parade usually includes Vernon's mayor and council members as well as the fire and police departments, scout groups and veterans.

Mount Hope Cemetery is the home of Vernon's earliest Civil War monument, an obelisk at the highest point in the cemetery. The cemetery was dedicated in 1867 and the memorial monument was dedicated two years later in 1869. The memorial is engraved with the names of those from the area who gave their lives in the war.

Everyone is welcome to march in the parade and it's short enough for the kids. Assemble in the church parking lot at 8:30 a.m.

» Learn more.


Coming Up In Early June

We'll send another newsletter in late May with details, but for now these are the dates and events that we know. You can find more detail on the VVC Events Page.

To receive the next newsletter Join our Mailing List.

  • June 1 - The Vernon Chorale presents 'A Choral Tapestry' concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
  • June 2 - CT Trails Day: Rediscover the Valley Falls Braille Trail led by Vernon Park & Rec.
  • June 2 - CT Trails Day: Manchester Land Conservation Trust Risley Park Hike.
  • June 2 - Vernon Historical Society program with BOB HURD covering the 'History of the Tankerhoosen Valley.'
  • June 8 - CT Open House Day In Vernon. Open House and special events at Strong Family Farm, Valley Falls Farm, the New England Civil War Museum and the Vernon Historical Society.
  • June 9 - Rolling Bus Tour of the Tankerhoosen Valley.

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